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The Essential Guide to Lesbian and Gay Weddings, by Tess Ayers and Paul Brown (1999). Our favorite book about planning a commitment ceremony. To read our full review of this book, check out our April 1999 Update.
*Unmarried to Each Other: The Essential Guide to Living Together as an Unmarried Couple, by Dorian Solot and Marshall Miller (2002). This book by the founders of Unmarried Equality is the only one that specifically addresses commitment ceremonies for opposite-sex couples. Its chapter on commitment ceremonies and rituals includes ideas for planning a ceremony (how to plan it, what to call it, how to explain it, how to find an officiant, etc.) and stories and reflections from couples who had a variety of different kinds of ceremonies.
Other good sources of ideas, vows, and readings for commitment ceremonies can be found in:
- The Alternative Wedding Book, by Alternatives for Simple Living (1997)
- Alternative Weddings: An Essential Guide for Creating Your Own Ceremony, by Jane Ross-Macdonald (1997)
- Ceremonies of the Heart: Celebrating Lesbian Unions, edited by Becky Butler (1997)
- Creative Weddings: An Up-To-Date Guide for Making Your Wedding as Unique as You Are, by Laurie Levin and Laura Golden Bellotti (1994)
- For As Long As We Both Shall Live, by Roger Fritts (1993)
- Handfasted and Heartjoined: A Guide to Wiccan Handfastings, by Lady Maeve Rhea (2001)
- Handfasting & Wedding Rituals, by Tannin Schwarzstein and Raven Kaldera, (2003)
- I Do: A Guide to Creating Your Own Unique Wedding Ceremony, by Sydney Barbara Metrick (2001)
- Into the Garden: A Wedding Anthology: Poetry and Prose on Love and Marriage, edited by Robert Hass and Stephen Mitchell (1994)
- Lesbian & Gay Book of Love & Marriage, by Paula Martinac (1998)
- Weddings by Design, by Richard Leviton (1994)
- Weddings from the Heart: Contemporary and Traditional Ceremonies for an Unforgettable Wedding, by Daphne Rose Kingma (2002)
Looking for music to play at your ceremony? Check out our list of unmarried song lyrics!
As the site describes itself, a place for would-be brides who have more on their minds than planning a reception, women who never for a second believed in Prince Charming and who have not, despite all of the cultural cues, been breathlessly awaiting their wedding day for their whole life.
A great, inclusive website for commitment ceremonies and alternative weddings. It includes monthly updates about new ceremonies and old customs, legal information on finding an officiant for an unusual ceremony and on allowing a friend to officiate at your wedding or civil union, and advice on emotionally preparing to fully experience your ceremony. This website is for couples who are planning legally binding weddings, couples who are planning legally binding civil unions, and couples who are planning commitment ceremonies. It’s for different-sex couples and same-sex couples.
Are there other commitment ceremony-related books or websites you’ve found helpful? Please send them to us so we can help others find out about them!